Scotty Walden made sure that his team didn’t dwell too long on last week’s loss at Ole Miss.
24 hours after losing 54-17 in Oxford, Miss., Austin Peay’s head coach stopped focusing on what went wrong against the SEC foe and instead turned his attention to their home opener against Morehead State.
“For the most part, we moved on because we’re going to learn from that in 24 hours and we’re going to move on,” Walden said. “We’re going to focus on us and getting better each week.”
The formula worked to perfection offensively, as the Governors (2-1) rolled to a 59-35 win on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Sophomore quarterback Draylen Ellis set a new career high in passing yards with 350, and APSU’s offense totaled 579 yards — the most in a game with Walden at the helm. Eight different players scored at least once on Saturday.
“We’re going to enjoy this win,” Walden said. “I want our guys to have fun and enjoy winning the game. When you win a Division I college football game, that’s not easy. … We’re certainly not going to look past that or take it for granted.”
Ellis put the Governors up early with a 17-yard strike to Eugene Minter. From there, Ahmaad Tanner, Jack McDonald and Minter scored four of the next five touchdowns to enter halftime with a 28-6 lead.
“I feel very comfortable back there knowing that my (offensive) line is going to give me time and our receivers are going to get open to maybe throw the ball downfield or just get it to them in space and they make plays,” said Ellis, who brought his season touchdown total to eight with a three-score performance.
“We were focused on this game — on this Saturday — and we just focused on Morehead State. We don’t worry about anything that happened in the past.”
The Govs put up another 31 points in the final two quarters. Freshmen skill position players Neyland Jean (QB), Jevon Jackson (RB) and Trey Goodman (WR) all scored their first career touchdowns in the fourth.
Walden was pleased with the fluidity of the offense, but he said that the defense struggled with execution for the second consecutive contest.
All-American defensive back Kordell Jackson did not play due to a lower body injury. The late scratch opened things up in the passing game for the Eagles, who scored 29 points in the second half.
Jackson’s status is currently day to day.
“Off the naked eye, assignment wise was much better (than against Ole Miss), but we have to finish,” Walden said. “We have to break those passes up (and) not allow them to extend drives. But I love our effort. Our effort is there.”
APSU travels to Eastern Kentucky and hosts Tennessee State before beginning its Ohio Valley Conference slate against Southeast Missouri.